Getting Started with Positive and Sustainable Change

Written by Michael Reavis Jr. MS, RD, LDN

I get versions of this question all the time:

“So where do I start?”

That is a great question, is it not? When I am working with a client I see these kind of questions as saying something like this:

I have a goal, I know where I want to be after this process, I think I have an idea of what I need to do to accomplish this goal, but I have been on this path before. 

That last bit is so important. I would imagine that everyone at some point in their life has set a goal and accomplished quite a few. But we never remember the ones we did well with, no, we always remember the ones that we were not successful with, the goals that haunt us so to speak.

Nutrition and health are usually at the top of this list and for most there are engrained ideas of how this should start. Either with throwing away everything in your kitchen, going on a grocery shopping trip that ends up being double to triple what your usual bill is, buy a delivery service or plan that is about half your rent for the month, or tracking every morsel to the gram and ensuring we eat barely anything all day.

If you relate to anything above you are not alone and that is why there is so much confusion on what is step one. Yet, for me and for most dietitians step one actually isn’t an action, a plan, or a diet. Step one is another question. That being:

What motivates you and why do you want to accomplish this goal?

We all start off any goal excited and ready to change the world/ourselves. The first couple of days fly by as we are well on our way to success. But then why do some goals never make it across that finish line. Often what motivates us initially is the goal itself, the excitement of achieving it, yet when it begins to slow down, plateaus begin to creep in, and the stress of life enters, this is where the goal may stop.

So next time you want to make a change or set a goal in life really and honestly ask yourself, why are you doing this? Who, what, why, and where is your motivation coming from?

Maybe for some it is seeing their kids grow up and they want to play an active role in their lives.

For some it is that race they have wanted to do ever since they were young.

For others it is that dress that they felt on top of the world when they were wearing it.

And for some it is because health backed them into a corner and they need to make a change.

There are thousands of reasons that get people out of bed ready to keep that process going, but identifying it, believing in it, and knowing you can make it happen, that is how we get to the finish line!

Go be great today!

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